Kevin to Alan, 1/26/98

From: Kevin
To: Alan
Date: 1/26/98
Subject: Howdy

Dear Alvino -

Hadn't heard from you for a while, so I thought I'd send you a quick hello. I am happy (ecstatic) to report that typhoon season appears to be over for the year, the Tradewinds are gentle and steady, and we have been experiencing a cold snap of 70s at night, and 80s during the day. Quite a break from the 90s/80s temps a few months ago. Our dear neighbor, Mrs. W. sent us some recent pictures from Whitehall that depicted that familiar snowy place, and I could almost feel the chill from looking at the photographs. Here, it is easy to be lulled into the sensation that nothing ever changes because of the absence of any significant seasonal variations in the weather. Everything goes on in a rather hot and sunburny but pleasant way. Last Sunday we went to Pau Pau Beach and snorkeled among the submerged coral heads. There are many varieties of coral of different shapes, and many different colors and textures. I saw a brilliantly blue starfish, about 15" in diameter (does a starfish have a diameter?) and watched the small reef fish dart in and out of the coral branches, tunnels and caves. At one point I swam into a small school of tiny silver and blue fish that was swimming near the surface. The way the light reflected off them made them appear to be pieces of silver tumbling and floating through the ocean, rising and falling between the surface and the coral on the bottom. It was almost magical and other-worldly.

On Friday night we went to the Catholic private school to see a local adaptation of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing," It was a performance by the school Drama Club, who must have spent a considerable amount of time rewriting the script the reflect local dialogue and geography. The set consisted of an open plywood stage with seating on three sides under a large tent. The only props were two benches which were arranged in different configurations and positions to show the change in scene. Costumes were very simple, as was the makeup. The dialogue was, happily, mostly in English, with only a smattering of Chamorro. The best part was the acting. The kids had clearly worked very hard at developing their characters and in giving each a personality and intensity that made each one convincing. Perhaps the best was a very nearsighted Dogberry who was constantly heading off in the wrong direction, pointing in the opposite direction from the person he was addressing, and whose self-esteem received a grievous wound when he broke down upon Conrad calling him a "Donkey." (Apparently Shakespeare's "ass" was too controversial a word). Verges was a very plump young man with a good-natured expression who constantly redirected Dogberry in the right direction, corrected his misidentification of a rooster as a dog, and who gave the impression that very little of what he had to do on stage required any effort at acting - he was so natural that you got the distinct feeling that the tolerance he portrayed is part of his off-stage personality. He simply plugged into the role, and carried it off perfectly. I have not searched through the original script to find the specific lines paraphrased, but I am certain that lines such as "That's my beer, man" and "What's up with that?" have some corollary in the original text, however far-removed the original reference may be. Finally, I suspect that the contemporary adaptation had a few more dance numbers than Bill's original version. So. Now you know we are not starving for culture here in the middle of the Pacific.

Keep in touch. Any band activity recently? Give our love to all. Kevin

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